Fortune has posted a video of Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg chatting with Fortune‘s Andy Serwer to discuss 3D technology and why 2011 movies have so far, in Katzenberg’s opinion, blown chunks. JKatz actually asks for a show of hands to confirm or deny “if the last seven or eight months of movies is the worst lineup of movies you’ve experienced in the last five years of your life.”
“For sure the 3D bloom came,” Katznberg says early on, “and for sure the bloom is off the rose for a moment in time, driven by a singular and unique characteristic that only exists in Hollywood — greed. And, you know, so I think there were, unfortunately, a number of people who thought that they could capitalize on what was a great, genuine excitement by moviegoers for a new premium experience, and thought they could just deliver a kind of low-end crappy version of it, and people wouldn’t care, or wouldn’t know the difference. And anything ?? you know, nothing could have been further from the truth.
“The film business, on the other hand, is extremely challenged right now in ways that I don’t think, certainly not in my career in the industry, have we faced. And it’s a sort of perfect storm, if you will, of a number of factors.
“The first is that driven by the most stressed economy of our lifetime, you know, this recession made every single person look at and reassess price/value in every aspect of their life. Proctor & Gamble deals with it the same way, Wal-Mart deals with it, the way movie companies and studios are having to deal with it, which is, is something worth today to me what I’m paying for it. And people are consciously thinking and making that assessment on a daily basis.
“And what happened is, at the moment in time in which they were making those assessments, in particular about owning DVDs, is also the moment in time in which all sorts of new delivery opportunities presented themselves, which, by the way, are still enormously in flux, and you can’t ?? anybody that would sit here today and say, okay, well, I kind of understand where this all ends up a year, or 18 months, or two years from now, I think is kind of foolish, to be honest. There are so many changing aspects about it. And so we have what is for sure a systemic change in consumer habits with regard to how they consume movies. And what we haven’t yet found is what is that new model.
“Now, having said that, more people are actually watching movies today than ever before around the globe. The question is, how are they going to do that, how are they going to access it, how much of it is going to be through streaming, how much of it is going to be bundled, how much of it is going to be on a per-play basis, how much of it is going to be digital, how much of it is going to exist in the cloud, and we can go on, and on, and on with all of these things, all of which are incredibly real. And so, right now in the center of that is a change in habits, a change in platform, a change in delivery, and therefore uncertainty and challenges financially.
“A movie experience is a passive experience. The storytelling narrative is something that I think is still a unique and interesting, and valued experience by people around the world. And whether it’s done in a movie theater or in your home, or on your laptop, or iPad, or whatever the device is, people love that passive experience. And we see it, again, there’s more and more consumption of it.
“What all of these devices and social networking things do is they’re going to actually force Hollywood to make better products, because today the thing that is probably most askew in Hollywood is the issue of marketability versus playability. And what that really means is that there is this sort of unholy alliance that has existed forever between art and commerce, show and biz. And today it’s out of balance and it’s too much on the biz, and it’s too much on the commerce and it’s too much on the marketability and the fact is that I’m pretty confident, and let’s do it, because this is supposed to be an interactive experience here, which is could we agree?
“Let me have a show of hands of people that would say the last seven or eight months of movies is the worst lineup of movies you’ve experienced in the last five years of your life.”
What has Katzenberg been watching? The last six and a half months have seen The Guard, Captain America, Drive, A Better Life, The Tree of Life, Beginners, X-Men: First Class, Bridesmaids, Win Win, Hanna, Midnight in Paris, Source Code, Cedar Rapids, Meek’s Cutoff, Super, The Lincoln Lawyer and Jane Eyre. That’s almost 20 films that have been very good, good or better than half-decent.